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Ethnocultural identity of persons of Chinese origin : testing a model of minority identity development via Q-Sort Methodology Villasenor, Natacha


Literature reviews (Casas, 1984, 1985; Ponterotto, 1988) on the status of racial/ethnic minority research indicate that one of the problems in coming to definite conclusions about the effectiveness of counseling with the culturally different is the lack of research accounting for heterogeneity within ethnic groups. This study investigates ethnic identity as a possible variable tapping into intra-group variability with persons of Chinese origin currently living in Canada. Specifically, Atkinson, Morten & Sue (1979)'s model of ethnic identity development is examined in relation to its validity with this ethnic group. Atkinson et al.'s (1979) Minority Identity Development model postulates five stages minority persons experience in trying to discern and appreciate themselves based on their culture of origin, the mainstream culture and the relationship and meaning between the two. These stages are Conformity, Dissonance, Resistance and Immersion, Introspection and Synergetic Articulation and Awareness. Based on the model, 81 items were generated, translated and administered to 44 participants via Q-Sort Methodology. Also, relevant demographic information was collected. Factor analysis and qualitative analysis for Q-Methodology as suggested by Talbott (1971) generated four factors. The emerging factors reflected the Conformity, Dissonance, Resistance and Immersion, and Synergetic Articulation and Awareness Stages. Thus, based on the partial support for the five-stage model among persons of Chinese origin; a four-stage model was generated. The analysis of results suggests the following conclusions: (1) heterogeneity within ethnic groups must be accounted for it is accounted for within the mainstream culture; (2) ethno-cultural identity emerges as a viable construct (variable) tapping into intra-group differences; (3) Q-Methodology appears as a culturally non-intrusive method; and (4) ethno-cultural identity may mediate the counseling process.

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